Monday, April 13, 2009

KILKENNY, Vikings, and Norse Roots. Burnt Njal, Otkell, Son of Skarf. And An Scairbh

Kilkenny and Carlow

Kilkenny - old capital, seat of a parliament. See long history at

One side of our people came from Kilkenny in 1820, but they don't appear on the landowners' map of 1640, see landowners at Kilkenny at so fine indigenous folks with long roots in Kilkenny they were not.

On the other hand, we later learned that Skarf and spellings derived, were in Carlow - starting with "Red" in the 16th Century, first recording.

Next trip: to Carlow. Not far. See ://

Perhaps we were Viking invader/settlers. See the fine site on Vikings in Ireland at And the map of how far they had come into Ireland even by 800 AD. And then more on Viking settlements at Dad's family -with the unlikely Irish name of Scharf - came from Kilkenny. They went to the Ottawa Valley area, Canada, in 1848, and the surname Scharf seems to be from the Old Norse for "cormorant." We claim the Vikings.

This is the Butler Castle, no relation but a prominent, philanthropic family, Kilkenny.

There are many old Irish names with the same Old Norse root - Scariff, On Scairbh. County Clare. See roots of names post at Old Norse roots, Ireland. Places:

There is a Skarfskerry in northern Scotland, near Orkney. See Scotland Road Ways and Orkney Road Ways. There is also Otkell, Son of Skarf in the old Icelandic sagas. Burnt Njal at Otkell Son of Skarf.

See for more on Vikings. From that: Vikings have been in Ireland for over a thousand years. They/we settled in at mills and farms, as well as vacationed from the old country plundering it up. We are indeed full Irish. And the odd name, Scharfe - now with an e so the Canadian postmaster in 1900 could differentiate between families - fits. At last. A quasi-identity ersatz heritage.

Look up any odd Irish name - it also may be Old Norse. See post at Old Norse roots, Ireland.
Give out the helmets with horns.

At Orkney Road Ways, and here at Ireland Road Ways, do look in the labels section to see the cross-references. For Viking buffs, see the google book, The Story of Burnt Njal, from 1861, at,M1/

Scroll up, yes, up, from the title page to see a depiction of an Icelandic long house, the skall or hall, and then up even further to see the shield with the motto,



Fain: from old Norse, feginn, meaning happy. Then there are old English derivations from foegin, to rejoice, etc. See definition at ://

Foegin. Feginn. The motto on the shield.

Does this mean that Fagan the Pickpocket Gang Leader in Oliver Twist was Old Norse, perhaps in the Norman invasion of England, (the Normans being Norse) or with the English further into Ireland with Strongbow? What's in a name. For recreation, see ://

Baby names. Skip the baby sites, at :// They are pablum. Get back to the grit. Vikings, Normans, yes! See Orkney connections at Orkney Road Ways, Finding New Roots.


TheBigIrishman said...

Thank you so much for your insight into the origins of the Scarf families.I have been researching the families for fifteen years and do appreciate seeing on the web what I have discovered in bits and peices over the years from our research group. On March 11th 2009 we leave for Ireland to witness the commemoration of our family plaque in the cemetery of the St.Lazarian Cathedral taking our familes back to 1515 in the Leighlenbridge area of Ireland.Your writings here remind me of much information supplied to our group by my Australian cousin Darryl Scarff, who will be in Ireland in March.
Keep up the awesome research.
DellRay Scarf

windflower said...

OurBigFriendWhoHelps is tuly indebted and grateful to TheBigIrishMan for the trail he's thoughfully blazed here, in our interests, on to County Tyrone.
Thank you, DellRay Scarf